U14 - Report
|Brixton Bulls||6||vs||36||Medway Dragons|
Dragons 14's Tame Bulls In The Rain
Medway Dragons Under 14's maintained the winning start to 2012 with an improved performance at Brixton Bulls. Playing smart football in challenging conditions, the team came together well and played for each other. A good win
The game plan was simple – play simple, shorten the passing distances, complete the sets and defend hard. This team showed from the start that they are smart enough to play to a plan and adapt to the conditions. Steve Davolls and Joe Hawkridge orchestrated well at half back and quickly got the forwards running on to Amrik Bains’ crisp passing, giving the Dragons good ‘go forward’.
It was not easy as the Bulls scrambling defence coped well with the Red & Gold attacks and held firm. It took the introduction of Mitchell Stone who, taking on a power play and fifth, stepped and powered his way over to score by the posts. Steve Davolls goaled.
Will Vodo, Louis Dadson, Mitchell Dowsett and Callum Banks began to dominate the middle of the field with strong carries and even stronger defence. The team now had the measure of the ball and the conditions and were able to play some excellent Rugby League, getting the ball wide through the hands and releasing the outside backs. Adam Dady stepped off his left foot and ran hard at the posts to crash over and extend the lead. Davolls goaled to put the score out to 12-0.
The Bulls introduced some of the big guns and ran hard at the Dragons edge defences as the centre field had proved too tough. Great defence, individually from full back Cameron Clarke, defusing two attacking plays and also, good work from from Ben Pollington and Ollie Bell stemmed the tide, forcing the Bulls to kick over the top. A good kick and chase, gave the Bulls the ball back by being in the right place for the bounce and they scored to get on the board. The conversion would be the last time they troubled the scoreboard on this day.
The introduction of Roshaine Johnson produced fireworks with his hard running. Rob Butler had led the way throughout the first period, making big yards with every carry and fierce defence setting the standard for the rest. The pivot players Alfie Orris, Joe Coyd and Max Savage now took control and piled the pressure on the improving Bulls. A Johnson try, goaled by Savage upped the tempo of the game and seemed to give the Dragons more confidence to move the ball.
A pleasing improvement in the Dragons play is the response to errors. These are always going to happen at points in the game. The key is how to respond ? A turnover on first tackle resulted in a fiercely intense defensive set where The Dragons contained the Bulls in their own 20, forcing a pressured kick downfield. Josh Bruin picked up the ball and stepped through the scattered Bulls players and touched down under the sticks. Savage goaled pushing the score out to 24-6.
The squad rotation process was working well and different formations and partnerships had a good workout. Dan O’Brien was having a great game out in the left centre, epitomised by a clever ball steal to defuse an attack. He ran the ball back with interest and set up another attack. Young outside backs Dan Rooke and Tom Scoines lit up the play with some great skills with the ball in hand, offloading and keeping the ball alive.
Johnson broke through again, proving almost impossible to stop, yet playing with great intelligence for the team and always looking for the offload to the support players who were always there. He scored another try to push the score further out, Savage goaled, 30-6.
With the Dragons now dominant the game entered a new dimension of handling skills. The rain had stopped, pitch drained quickly and the ball flew around with great speed, from one side of the field to the other. Max Savage, having another fine game, stepped off his left foot and crashed over for the final try of the game. He added the extras to push the score out to 36-6
Dragons Head Coach Martin Coyd said ‘Team Manager Lee McClellan is now able to provide vital information to the coaching staff to show how we have performed. Statistically the Bulls were close to us, sharing territory and not far off on possession. They had more Play the balls in our half than us in theirs. That tells me that we are defending very well but not controlling the ball as well when we have possession
‘We are pleased with the progress we are making as a team. We are responding well to errors and defending hard. A couple of the lads need to respect possession a little more and improve their decision making. However, they know that and will work hard at it. The spirit is good and all the team work hard for each other. I am looking forward to our first home game next week at The Garrison’